You may know Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold for his various lists of restaurants in Los Angeles, but did you know that before food, the talented writer wrote about L.A. hip hop? That is just one of the many takeaways from the new documentary, City of Gold.
City of Gold is a true ode to the city native Angeleno and Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, loves most. It chronicles his relationship to his beloved and sprawling metropolis, Los Angeles. He was one of the first critics to review small family owned restaurants in far-flung ethnic enclaves with as much passion as the haute cuisine establishments of Beverly Hills.
Directed by Laura Gabbert, City of Gold features appearances by celebrity chefs Roy Choi, David Chang, and Ludo Lefebvre, as well as the chefs and owners behind some of Gold’s favorites, including Jitlada, Guelaguetza, Meals by Genet and Taste of Chengdu.
Informative and engaging, City of Gold touches on Gold’s upbringing and road to becoming a food critic, as well as takes viewers on a journey through some of L.A.’s hidden food gems. As mentioned in the film, Jonathan Gold is not just a food critic, he’s a cultural commentator.
Unlike many food critics, Gold goes where many dare not go, off the beaten path finding new venues that ultimately become the next culinary hotspot. That is evident with every hole-in-the-wall restaurant he’s visited in the San Gabriel Valley and every taco truck he frequents in Boyle Heights. He’s the culinary version of King Midas: with his every review, the restaurant turns to gold (no pun intended).
It comes as no surprise that City of Gold is just as charming as its primary focus. A heed of warning: you may want to eat before watching – you will definitely come away hungry!
City of Gold hits select theaters Friday, March 11.
By Patty Gopez